San Francisco, Ca — Similar to former Mayor Willie Brown, Mayor London Breed is finding out just how difficult it is to pass policies that improve the lives of African American residents – even in supposedly tolerant, liberal, “progressive” San Francisco.
On Monday at 10:30 a.m. at Third Baptist Church, the Rev. Amos Brown of the NAACP will call upon the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to cease its centuries-old practice of standing in the way of progress for African Americans. “While the city’s African American population continues to dwindle under the crushing weight of underperforming schools and a lack of economic opportunity and affordable housing, a group on the Board of Supervisors has been doing all it can to thwart progressive solutions proposed by Mayor Breed, the city’s first African American woman to be elected as mayor,” Rev. Brown said.
“This group has resisted Breed’s proposals for comprehensive mental health treatment and services to homeless individuals with the greatest need. A recent Chronicle investigation found that African Americans make up nearly 40 percent of the city’s homeless population. That same click on the Board also tried to strip Breed of a mayor’s right to appoint a new district attorney with a strong record on civil rights. And it also ignored African American leaders when it moved to permanently shut down the Juvenile Detention Center, which provides expert care to young offenders, the majority of whom are African American,” Rev. Brown added.
Resistance to policies benefitting African Americans is nothing new in San Francisco. When Rev. Brown was a member of the Board of Supervisors, he similarly met resistance on a care-not-cash program to provide wraparound services to vulnerable individuals, along with a redevelopment plan benefiting black residents.
“A certain politics emerges in this town when a black person is trying to pass policies to uplift their people. Meanwhile, the prevailing policies of this city have promoted black flight rather than black rights, dating as far back to the late 1850s, when racist, pro-slavery legislation prompted 600 African Americans to emigrate to British Columbia. Despite centuries of free slave labor, and the significant role African Americans played in the Bay Area shipyards during WWII, the black community continues to be underserved in the city’s worst schools, housing and employment prospects.
“Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that San Francisco has made progress. More so, San Francisco appears to be repeating a sordid history of policies that promote continued degradation of black neighborhoods, centers, businesses and schools. And it must stop,” Rev. Brown said.